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17 Nov 16. SpaceX seeks U.S. approval for internet-via-satellite network. Private rocket launch service SpaceX is requesting government approval to operate a massive satellite network that would provide high-speed, global internet coverage, according to newly filed documents with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The California-based company, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has proposed an orbiting digital communications array that would eventually consist of 4,425 satellites, the documents filed on Tuesday show. The project, which Musk previously said would cost at least $10bn, was first announced in January 2015. The latest documents, which include technical details of the proposed network, did not mention cost estimates or financing plans.
Financial backers of the company, whose full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corp, include Alphabet’s Google Inc and Fidelity Investments, which together have contributed $1bn to Musk’s space launch firm.
The proposed SpaceX network would begin with the launch of about 800 satellites to expand internet access in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the FCC filings showed.
“The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, government and professional users worldwide,” SpaceX said in technical documents accompanying its filing.
Similar internet-via-satellite networks are under development by privately owned OneWeb and by Boeing Co.
Such a system would provide a space-based alternative to cable, fiber-optics and other terrestrial internet access currently available.
SpaceX did not say when its launches would occur.
The satellites would be launched into orbits ranging from 714 miles to 823 miles (1,150-1,325km) above Earth.
Each satellite, about the size of an average car, not including solar panels, would weigh 850 pounds (386 kg), SpaceX said.
SpaceX’s primary business is launching satellites into orbit for government and commercial customers. It also flies cargo supply ships to the International Space Station for NASA.
SpaceX rocket launches have been on hold since a Sept. 1 launch pad accident that destroyed a $62m Falcon 9 booster and a $200m Israeli communications satellite. The company hopes to resume flights next month. (Source: Reuters)
16 Nov 16. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today introduced the industry’s most powerful and flexible ultra-small form factor (USFF) mission computer, the new Parvus® DuraCOR® 312. The unit’s teraflop performance delivers the highest FLOPS per watt available in a rugged COTS highly scalable system architecture. It enables system designers to rapidly deploy supercomputer-class processing in a proven, high-TRL subsystem that eliminates design risk and NRE costs. Weighing approx. 1.5lb (< 0.68kgs) and requiring only 20W of power, the extremely compact DuraCOR 312 measures approx. 1.4 x 5.2 x 5.4” (3.6 x 13.2 x 13.6 cm). Based on the breakthrough NVIDIA® Jetson™ Tegra® X1 (TX1) “supercomputer-on-a module,” the DuraCOR 312 uniquely combines the TX1’s quad-core 64-bit ARM® Cortex-A57 (ARMv8) processor and 256 Maxwell/CUDA-core GPU with a comprehensive set of base I/O (including Ethernet, serial, USB, DIO and video ports) as well as multiple I/O and storage expansion options that support additional vetronics/avionics interfaces. The DuraCOR 312 is ideal for use on SWaP-sensitive deployed platforms such as civil and military ground vehicles, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, and maritime vessels, both autonomous and manned, that require in-vehicle tactical mission processing (server/computer) or C4ISR technology. It delivers high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) and general-purpose graphics processing for compute-intensive applications such as